What’s the Procedure for Impeaching Legislators?

As a general proposition, Rhode Islanders should be more comfortable in the absence of their legislators, but this is a jaw dropper:

House Speaker William J. Murphy has notified lawmakers in his chamber that the House will not return next week, as originally contemplated, but on Oct. 7 and 8.
It remains unclear what the lawmakers will do when they reconvene, and whether they will be open to considering new legislation, acting on the handful of high-profile bills that languished at the end of the regular session in June, or simply overriding vetoes.

Don’t some of the governor’s methods of balancing the budget require legislative approval? Won’t the cost only grow as time passes with no resolution? Does legislative negligence at some point become criminal?
(Initially spotted by Mike Cappelli.)

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Bill Felkner
12 years ago

If you are referring to the $68m fix just announced, only the $32m being withheld from the towns will need legislative approval, and the money comes from the auto tax which I don’t believe would be paid until the 4th quarter.

brassband
brassband
12 years ago

Legislators are not subject to impeachment, pursuant to Article 11 of the R.I. Constitution.
Art. 6, sec. 7 provides that either House may expel a member on a two-thirds vote.
Yeah, that’ll happen . .

Justin Katz
12 years ago

But what’s the remedy when you have to expel two-thirds of the legislature?

Will
12 years ago

Brassband is correct. Impeachment is only (as is often the case) something which the legislature can do to others in the executive or judicial branches, not to itself. While the House or Senate can, with 2/3’s vote expel a member, it almost never happens, because usually said legislator has the good sense to resign first (Celona, Irons).
Of course, there is no “recall” provision for the populace to remove legislators either.
PS Sometimes, I wish Thomas Wilson Dorr was still around.

David
David
12 years ago

The simple fact is, in a democracy, the voters get the government they deserve.

brassband
brassband
12 years ago

“But what’s the remedy when you have to expel two-thirds of the legislature?”

Hmm, let me think . . .
Oh, I remember; it’s called an election!
We got ’em every two years, remember?
And most members of the GA run unopposed, or with token opposition, right?
Can you blame them for acting like the public doesn’t care what they do?

Dan
Dan
12 years ago

“The simple fact is, in a democracy, the voters get the government they deserve.”
If by “the voters”, you mean “the majority of the voting population”, then this is perhaps true.
But what about the 49% of the voting population and the entire non-voting population who may or may not deserve the government they get?

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Big deal. Murphy plays the social conservative card again, and all is forgiven here. That seems to be how it works.
We who don’t like Murphy very much amd are tried of his arrogance are not going to be played for suckers.

Biagio
Biagio
12 years ago

Murphy WILL have a Democratic opponent next election.
He has done nothing for his town nor the state!

Justin Katz
12 years ago

brassband,
I’m not sure the state can hold together until the next election, but of course, there’s a tongue-in-cheek quality to my line of questioning.

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